Package deals on certification tracks offer both savings and security

January 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Posted in Transcender news, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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Shifts in our global economic climate inevitably trickle down to the IT industry, and certification programs are no exception. Last year we saw modest increases in exam pricing at the retail (single user) level, coupled with short-lived deals on free or discounted exam retakes from major vendors like Pearson Vue. Perennial promotions like Microsoft’s Second Shot are still around, but vendors have had to change the way they offer some of their discounts and freebies.

Many of our students need to get certified on their own timeline and can’t necessarily afford to wait for some new deal to come down the pike. If you can afford it, you may come out ahead in the long run by buying more than one exam voucher at a time. Bundles include extras that you may pay a premium for with a single exam price. Be sure to check expiration dates so that you don’t buy more vouchers than you can easily use before they expire.

Here’s the best of the current pricing programs that we know about, as of January 2011.

Oracle certification value packages

Oracle has bundled instructor-led or official self-study courses, exam vouchers, and exam retakes for a 20% discount over the component prices. At this time, free exam retakes are only offered as a bundled package feature, and all bundles include instruction.  For information, visit Oracle University at http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prod-plq-dad/db_pages.getpage?page_id=447.

Microsoft: Second Shot

As of 2011, Second Shot is no longer rolled into the price of a single exam. You pay a 15% premium above the exam price to add Second Shot insurance (which grants you an exam retake after failing the initial test). However, if you’re purchasing two, three, four, or five exam vouchers at one time, Second Shot is rolled in as a free benefit. Multi-exam packs will save you 15% to 20% off the individual voucher costs.

For the complete details, visit here: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/career/en/us/career-offer.aspx

Cisco

We’re not aware of any current Cisco discount programs or retake offers (apart from programs that may be offered by your Cisco Learning Partner trainer). However, Cisco certified individuals should keep an eye out for future promotions. Be sure to update your Certifications Tracking System profile to opt-in to future emails regarding discounts and specials (www.cisco.com/go/certifications/login).

That’s all the news for now, but we will be sure to report any new deals from test vendors as they develop in 2011.

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